LDWF News Release

Legislation Provides for Special Deer Hunting Season for Honorably Discharged Louisiana Veterans on Private Lands

Release Date: 09/18/2014

Sept. 18, 2014 – Honorably discharged, Louisiana resident veterans will have extra hunting dates on private lands during the 2014-15 Louisiana deer hunting season.
Legislative action initiated by Rep. Jeff Thompson (Dist. 8, Bossier City) during the 2014 Regular Legislative Session, and signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal as Act 678, provides a special deer season for Louisiana residents who are honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.  This season will run concurrently with the open Youth Season in all zones, and will be restricted to hunting on private lands.

“Louisiana has a long and rich tradition of those who serve our nation and protect our freedom.  As the Sportsman’s Paradise, it is appropriate we show our appreciation with this special hunting season for these heroes,” said Thompson
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted in June the following dates for a special Resident Honorably Discharged Veterans Deer Season on private lands:
Areas 1, 4, 5, 6, and 9:  Oct. 25-31
Area 2:  Oct. 11-17
Areas 3, 7, 8, and 10:  Sept. 27-Oct. 3.
This special deer season, which is available for youth (ages 17 and younger) and physically challenged hunters, precedes the opening weekend of regular firearms season.
The 2014-15 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet contains the complete listing of all deer season dates in the 10 designated deer areas in the state. To view the booklet on line, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations .

For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or 318-487-5885, or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.


Hunters for the Hungry Hosting “Clean Out Your Freezer Day” Sept. 28 To Benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

Release Date: 09/18/2014

Sept. 18, 2014 -- Hunters for the Hungry will host its annual “Clean Out Your Freezer Day” to benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank on Sunday, Sept. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.
In conjunction with Hunter Action Month, sportsmen are encouraged to clean out their freezers and share their leftover bounty with the hungry. Donations will be distributed directly to those in need to more than 125 member agencies in the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s service area.
In past years, Hunters for the Hungry has collected more than 190,000 pounds of fish, game and other frozen items. “‘Clean Out Your Freezer Day,’ will enable the Food Bank to distribute frozen fish and game to the thousands of people throughout our 11-parish service area,” Michael Manning, president and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank said. “The Food Bank is seeking more food than in previous years to provide for the increased need,” Manning continued.
Hunters for the Hungry encourages hunters and fisherman to enjoy the plentiful wild game in Louisiana and give back by sharing frozen fish and game with the hungry through programs such as “Clean Out Your Freezer Day” and “Donate A Deer.” “Clean Out Your Freezer Day” gives sportsmen an excellent opportunity to put their leftover fish and game to good use when preparing for the upcoming hunting season. Local sportsmen are encouraged to deliver their frozen product to the listed donation sites.
Site list: East Baton Rouge Parish – Old Alex Box Stadium, LSU; Baker Fire Department, 3701 Groom Road; Baton Rouge Fire Departments, 835 Sharp Road and 150 South Wooddale Blvd.; Bowie Outfitters, 8630 Perkins Road; CCA of Louisiana, 12241 Industriplex Blvd.; Central Fire Department, 11646 Sullivan Road; St. George Fire Departments, 7027 Antioch Road and 16415 George O’Neal Lane; Zachary Fire Department, 4525 Main St.; Ascension Parish – Cabela’s, I-10 and LA 30, Gonzales; Livingston Parish – Bass Pro Shop, I-12 and Range Ave., Denham Springs; West Baton Rouge Parish – Spillway Sportsman, off LA 1, Brusly; West Feliciana Parish – Feliciana Seafood and Deli, Hwy 61, Exxon Station, St. Francisville. Grace Episcopal Church St Francisville; East Feliciana Parish – Red Boot Deli, 12430 Saint Helena St. Clinton.
For more information, contact Amy Sellers at 225-359-9940, ext. 206 or amy@brfoodbank.org .


Jefferson Man Cited for Illegal Possession of Piranhas

Release Date: 09/18/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Jefferson Parish resident for alleged illegal piranha possession violations on Sept. 14 in Harahan.

Agents received a complaint about Jonathan M. Currey, 23, of Harahan, being in possession of several piranhas in a fish tank located in his apartment.  The agents made contact with Currey at his apartment where he was found to be in possession of five piranhas.  LDWF biologists assisted in the identification of the piranhas.

Illegal exotic fish possession of certain species, in this case piranhas, brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail plus court costs.

An LDWF issued permit for exotic fish of certain species is needed to possess piranhas.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Tim Fox and Agent Jeff Farmer.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-354-9517 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.


Release Date: 09/16/2014

September. 15, 2014 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) on September 27. 

NHFD is a national event celebrated by all 50 states on the fourth Saturday in September. It was created in 1972 when Congress passed two bills establishing a specific day to celebrate the conservation contributions of our nation’s hunters and anglers. Over forty years later, the events are still going strong. 

LDWF introduced its first NHFD event in 1982 at the Monroe district office. In the following years, three more locations were developed in Baton Rouge, Minden and Woodworth. Today, more than 10,000 people statewide attend the celebrations, establishing the overall largest public outreach event for the department.

“Our goal to is get people outdoors to enjoy the activities we offer and hopefully, send them home with a renewed interest and appreciation for Louisiana’s natural resources,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “The National Hunting and Fishing Day experience is designed to stimulate greater interest in experiencing and preserving the treasures we have here in Sportsman’s Paradise.”

All four events are free. The number and types of exhibits vary at each location but all include exhibits on LDWF management programs, shooting and fishing demonstrations, exhibits from local chapters of Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club and CCA, and supporting businesses from the local communities. Attendees have the chance to try their skills at the shooting ranges, fishing ponds and boating activities, as well as learn about wildlife through interaction with live animals. 

Family Fish Fest
In conjunction with the National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festival on September 27, LDWF will host a Family Fish Fest for youth age 15 and under at the Baton Rouge location. The event is free and registration is on-site only beginning at 9 a.m. The first 50 registrants will receive a complimentary rod and reel, courtesy of Pure Fishing, and the first 100 registrants will receive a fishing goodie bag. Every registrant will automatically be entered into numerous prize drawings. In addition, adults will receive one raffle ticket for each youth they enter into the Family Fish Fest for the chance to win great prizes. All anglers are asked to bring their own fishing equipment and bait.

The schedule for the Baton Rouge Family Fish Fest is as follows:

Registration                                       9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Fishing/weigh-in                                9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Awards ceremony and giveaways   11 a.m.
Hunting and Fishing Day Activity Book and Scout Patch Opportunity
Youth and Scout participants can also obtain and complete an activity book from the Activity Book Registration tent to receive a Hunting and Fishing Day patch (Scouts only) and sticker at the Baton Rouge and Woodworth locations. The booklet includes numerous activities including casting, fish ID, canoeing, fish tagging, archery, and more!     

For more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, contact one of the four locations or go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/nhfd2013
Baton Rouge
Waddill Outdoor Education Center

4142 N. Flannery Road

OPSO Public Shooting Range

357 Sheriff Fewell Rd
West Monroe, LA 71291

(318) 343-4044 

Bodcau Wildlife Management Area

1700 Bodcau Dam Rd.
Haughton, LA 71037

(318) 371-3050 

Woodworth Outdoor Education Center

661 Robinson Bridge Rd.
Woodworth, LA 71485

(318) 484-2212


White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area 2014-15 Marsh and Rice Field Waterfowl Lottery Hunts Announced

Release Date: 09/16/2014

Sept. 16, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for 2014-15 marsh and rice field waterfowl lottery hunts on White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.
Marsh hunts are available on:
Nov. 20, 24, 26, 29 and 30;
Dec. 22, 23, 27 and 28; and
Jan. 5, 13 and 15.
Rice field hunts are available on:
Nov. 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 25, 29 and 30;
Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28 and 30; and
Jan. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 25.
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and applications for both hunts must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2014.
Applications may be obtained by contacting any of LDWF's field offices or by visiting the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications .  Completed applications may be delivered in person to the LDWF headquarters building at 2000 Quail Drive, Room 422, Baton Rouge, La., 70808 or by mail to the same address.   Please note on envelope: Attention: White Lake Marsh (or Rice Field) Lottery Hunt, whichever is applicable.
Each application must include a non-refundable $5 administrative fee. The $5 fee must be paid by a check or money order payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Successful applicants will be notified by mail.
Selected applicants will be allowed two guests for the rice field hunts and one guest for the marsh hunts. An additional payment of $225 will be required for the rice field hunts and $350 for the marsh hunts.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information on White Lake WCA marsh and rice field waterfowl lottery hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .


Hunters Reminded to Practice Treestand Safety

Release Date: 09/11/2014

Sept. 11, 2014 -- As the opening of the 2014-15 deer season approaches, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is reminding hunters to make pre-hunt checks to ensure treestand safety and use appropriate safety gear to reduce the chance of accidents in the field.
Each year, a few hunters are injured when they fall from stands or their stands fail. Nearly all of these injuries can be prevented if hunters follow some basic treestand safety rules:

  • Thoroughly check and inspect the stand and all safety equipment before use.  If a stand was left on a tree or in the woods since last season, all straps should be replaced with new straps specifically designed for treestand use.  Older straps may appear safe to use, but they can be weaken with exposure to weather and sunlight.  In addition, straps left on trees for long periods are under continual stress as the tree grows and may break when placed under a load.
  • Only use treestands and safety equipment that meet or exceed industry standards recognized by the Treestand Manufacture’s Association (TMA).  A list of products that are certified to industry standards recognized by TMA is available on the TMA website: www.tmastands.com .
  • Always wear and properly attach a Full Body Fall Arrest Harness System (FBFAHS) anytime you leave the ground, including while ascending and descending.  Older devices such as single strap belts and chest harnesses are dangerous and should never be used.  Many new stands come with a FBFAHS.   In addition, there are numerous comfortable and easy to use FBFAHS that can be purchased separately from a stand.
  • Use your safety equipment properly and practice before you go hunting.  Read, understand and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  In the presence of a responsible adult, practice with your FBFAHS near ground level and experience what it feels like to be suspended.  Know how to recover if you experience a fall in your FBFAHS and be sure to have a communication or signaling device that you can access if you are suspended in your FBFAHS.
  • After you are in your stand and have properly attached your FBFAHS, use a haul line to lift your equipment, including your unloaded firearm or bow, into your stand.  Never climb with a firearm or bow attached to your body.
  • Always let a responsible person know where you will be hunting and when you expect to return.  Provide them with emergency contact information in the event you do not return when expected.

LDWF has produced several short, treestand safety videos that are available at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting-safety-videos .  In addition the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association website www.tmastands.com provides information about safe use of treestands and safety equipment.
Hunting from a treestand can be an enjoyable and effective hunting technique, but safe use of treestands requires preparation and practice. For more information, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov.


LDWF Agents Issue 55 Citations for Hunting Over Bait During Opening Weekend of Dove Season

Release Date: 09/09/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents issued 101 dove hunting related citations during the opening weekend of dove season on Sept. 6 and 7 statewide.

Of the 101 total citations, 55 were for hunting doves over a baited area.  Most of the other charges were for hunting with an unplugged gun, hunting without a basic hunting license, placing bait, hunting from a moving vehicle, and taking non-game birds.

A large portion of the hunting doves over a baited area took place in Franklin Parish where agents found 28 people hunting over bait.  Other places that agents found numerous people hunting over bait included Avoyelles Parish with five people, Tensas Parish with four people, Claiborne with four people, Washington Parish with four people, Beauregard Parish with two people, Rapides Parish with two people and St. John Parish with two people.

Agents also seized over 300 doves associated with the citations.

Dove season began on Sept. 6 with a daily bag limit of 15 doves and possession limit of 45 doves.  However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird.  Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed-turtle doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.  Please check the LDWF dove hunting web page found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove for more information.

Hunting over a baited field for doves, placing bait, and taking non-game birds each brings a state penalty of $400 to $950 in fines and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting with unplugged guns and from a moving vehicle each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting without a basic hunting license brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

2014 International YHEC Champions Recognized at Commission Meeting

Release Date: 09/08/2014

2014 International YHEC Champions Recognized at Commission Meeting

Sept. 8, 2014 – Louisiana youth hunters garnered top honors this summer at the 2014 NRA’s International Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) held in Mansfield, Pa., in July.
Their efforts were recognized by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Hunting Heritage Coordinator John Sturgis at the Sept. 4 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge.
The top 20 seniors and juniors from the state competition were awarded the opportunity to attend the International Challenge following their success at the Louisiana State YHEC  event held in Pollock, La., on the weekend of May 31 – June 1.
Youth from across the state, ranging in age from 10 to 18, competed in eight different events that tested their shooting and mental skills. The eight events were comprised of four shooting and four non-shooting events: archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, 22 rifle, plus hunter responsibility, hunter safety on the trail, orienteering skills and wildlife identification.
The top 15 seniors at the State Challenge included: Terrebonne Parish participants Doyle Donaldson (overall state Senior champ), Conner Chaisson, Jordan Palmisano, Ian Duplantis, Matt Braud, Brennan Lirette, Lane Leblanc and Christopher Becnel; Greater New Orleans participants Brad Petras, Blake Morris, Austin Faucheau and Seth Rome; plus Austin Pace from Desoto Parish; Elijah Dupree from Acadiana Parish; and Emily Fulton from northwest Louisiana.
The top 15 juniors at the State Challenge included: Terrebonne Parish participants William Powell (overall state Junior champ), Justin Guillory, Blake Johnson, Jason Danos, Kyle Landry, Adrienne Talbot, Lacey Bonvillain, Rory Bergeron and Adam Hubbell; Greater New Orleans participants Blake Rogers, Jay Madden, Gavin Madden, Jacob Landry and Tyler Abadie; and Austin Daily from Rapides Parish.
The top 10 senior and top 10 juniors from the state then advanced to the YHEC International Challenge held in Mansfield, Pa., during the week of July 18. The Louisiana competitors were broken into five-man shooting teams. The Senior Gold Team included: Doyle Donaldson, Emily Fulton, Conner Chaisson, Brad Petras and Jordan Palmisano. The Senior Silver Team included Ian Duplantis, Matt Braud, Brennan Lirette, Austin Pace and Christopher Becnel.  The Junior Gold Team was comprised of William Powell, Justin Guillory, Blake Johnson, Jason Danos and Jay Madden. And the Junior Silver Team was comprised of Kyle Landry, Adrienne Talbot, Lacey Bonvillain, Rory Bergeron and Adam Hubbell.
The Louisiana teams, competing at the International Challenge as the Bayou Bandits, received the following awards:
Senior Gold Team: Team Overall International Champion; including 3rd place muzzleloader, 1st place shotgun, 1st place rifle, 3rd place hunter responsibility test, 2nd place safety trail, and 2nd place wildlife identification
Junior Gold Team: 1st place shotgun and 3rd place safety trail
Doyle Donaldson: Senior Individual Overall International Champion; including 1st in rifle, 3rd in shotgun and 1st in hunter responsibility
Ian Duplantis, Senior: 1st in safety trail and 2nd in shotgun
Jay Madden, Junior: 3rd in muzzleloader
Brad Petras, Senior: 1st place in wildlife identification
William Powell: Junior Individual Overall International Champion; including 1st in shotgun, 1st in hunter responsibility, 1st in orienteering and 3rd in wildlife identification
YHEC is a National Rifle Association youth program that teaches youth outdoor skills with its main focus being the safe handling of firearms.  The program is taught by certified hunter safety instructors, coaches and parent volunteers.
The YHEC program is committed to providing youth with top-notch shooting, hunting and safety skills by challenging their minds and cultivating high standards for hunting and wildlife.  YHEC strengthens values such as concentration, commitment, sportsmanship and teamwork.
For more information on the YHEC Program, visit website http://hservices.nra.org/youth-hunter-education-challenge.aspx or contact John Sturgis at 337-948-0255 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov .
*More Louisiana International YHEC Photos can been viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/yhec/sets/.


World Champion Benton Elementary Archers Honored at September Commission Meeting

Release Date: 09/08/2014

World Champion Benton Elementary Archers Honored at September Commission Meeting

Sept. 8, 2014 -- The Benton Elementary School archery team that won the 2014 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) World Tournament this summer was honored during the September Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.
The Benton team, comprised of 24 fourth and fifth graders and one third grader, were invited to compete at the World Tournament in July in Madison, Wisconsin.  They were the first Louisiana team to qualify for the World Tournament and did so by finishing in eighth place at the NASP National Tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky in May.
At the World Tournament, the Benton team tallied a score 66 points higher than their National Tournament score to achieve the World Champion trophy.
In order to participate at the National Tournament, teams and individuals had to qualify at the Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament in March. The ALAS program is sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and is available to all schools in Louisiana. The program teaches international target style archery to students in grades 4-12.
The NASP began in Kentucky back in late 2001 and has since spread to 47 states, seven Canadian provinces, South Africa, New Zealand, Mongolia and Australia. Since its inception 13 years
ago, the NASP program has positively affected the lives of over 13 million students in over 12,000 schools in the U.S. 
More than 100 Louisiana schools are enrolled in the ALAS program and more are being added each year. In the past three years, the ALAS state tournament has more than tripled in competitor numbers. 
Schools placing first at the state tournament as a team and those who shoot a qualifying team score are eligible to participate in the NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.  Individuals who qualify in the top ten at state are also eligible to compete at Nationals.
For more information about the ALAS program, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/archery/archery-louisiana-schools-alas or contact Robert Stroede at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov , or follow us on Facebook under ALAS-Archery in Louisiana Schools.
PHOTO: World Champion Benton Elementary Archers (top row - left to right) Kaitlyn Masters, Carly VanBuskirk, Brady Duncan, Aiden Gilcrease, Emma Bunch and Allison Allen; (bottom row - left to right) LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, Thomas Gamble, Dylan Hicks, Colby Leeper, Bryce Hughes, Rebekah Edmonds, Averie Halverson, Coach Perry Norcross and ALAS Coordinator Robert Stroede.  *Not shown - Lake Bradford, Josh Farris, Jazmine Young, Grant Talley, Douglas Graham, Alisha Huffman, Dasha Hollenshead, Cain Anderson and Assistant Coaches Haley Huffman, Jeff Huffman and Chip Hemphill.


Russell Sage WMA Trail Project Recognized

Release Date: 09/08/2014

Russell Sage WMA Trail Project Recognized

Sept. 8, 2014 – A recreational trail rehabilitation project at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area in Ouachita Parish was one of 14 projects from across the United States that received a national award for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program Funds (RTP) in 2014.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Wildlife Division utilized RTP funding of $38,286 plus an additional $12,250 from the agency’s Conservation Fund to improve the Sawyer Trail within the 22,000-acre WMA just to the east of the Monroe/West Monroe area.
Wildlife Division staff involved in the project were recognized during the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sept. 4 meeting.
Russell Sage WMA is a popular destination for approximately 30,000 users annually due to its diverse wildlife populations and habitats.  Users range from hunters and fishermen to sightseers, hikers and birdwatchers.  
The Sawyer Trail is an important recreational feature that provides over two miles of ATV and UTV access on the northern portion of the WMA. The trail passes through a bottomland hardwood forest which is representative of the forests which once covered much of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.  Prior to department ownership of this property, this trail was an oilfield road that provided access to oil well locations within the property.
The department purchased the area in 1960 and the trail, through normal use, degraded over time. It was selected for renovation to improve access for WMA users. The project funding was awarded in 2011 and completed in 2013.  Improvements to the trail included:

  • Widening of the existing trail right-of-way to 50 feet, along the entire two mile length, to facilitate drying and maintenance activities.
  • Elevation of the trail to a minimum of three feet above grade, with ditches excavated on both sides to improve the quality of the trail to users and to make maintenance of trail more efficient and feasible.
  • Installation of nine culverts along the trail’s length to facilitate drainage and natural hydrologic flow through the adjacent bottomland hardwood systems.
  • Improvement of trailhead parking by adding 120 tons of limestone. 

Users now have improved access along and to the entirety of the trail and can now more easily and safely access the northern portion of the WMA.   
LDWF manages over 1.1 million acres in its Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Program.  These areas are distributed across the state and are comprised of a vast array of habitat types.  The WMA Program’s mission is to deliver conservation priorities to Louisiana’s landscape, conserving the state’s diverse wildlife resources, as well as provide an array of outdoor recreational opportunities to the public.
For more information on Russell Sage WMA or any LDWF wildlife management area, visit http://www.wlf.state.la.us/wma or contact Steve Smith at 318-487-5885 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .
PHOTO: LDWF Wildlife Division staff (left to right) Steve Smith, Chuck Easterling, Tracy Farrar, Nick Freeland and Jacques Vidrine are recognized at Sept. 4 LWF Commission meeting for work done on Russell Sage WMA ATV trail.

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